The Minneapolis Miracle

There was a time, c2004/05, when Stuff and Nonsense was basically a Minnesota Vikings blog. I loved those teams. Moss. Culpepper. The blowout playoff win over the Packers at freaking Lambeau Field. They didn’t get especially close to a championship, but I was still naive enough to think they had a chance. Besides, writing about football was fun – certainly more fun than writing about antidepressant withdrawal.

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Season #12

That’s all for season #12, folks! A reminder that I once said I’d be in the game for two years, max.

I’m writing this missive from a quiet corner of Singapore’s famous Changi Airport. An impressive collection of #planeporn is behind me, including multiple A350s and A380s (one of which is about to take me to London…more on that in a second). It’s been a good week in Southeast Asia – but I’m tired and I’m ready to come home. Season #12 was great from both a professional and personal standpoint. It was also much lower impact than what I’ve grown accustomed to: all told I spent 14 nights in hotels, and while I’ve flown enough to keep Star Alliance Gold status for at least one more year it hasn’t felt nearly as strenuous as the sort of travel to which I regularly subjected myself at U of C. But it’s harder to recover at 38 than it was at 28 – so I’m glad for the trade-off.

A note on the forthcoming flight. It’s long, some 14 hours, but it’s nothing compared to the journey my dad took when he traveled from Singapore to England in 1949. Then, obviously, the journey was by boat, and it took him, his mom and his newborn sister…wait for it…28 days. So yes: a long flight, but one that’ll come with movies and great music and (at this point, at least) a row to myself and the promise of sleep. I’ll be home in just over 24 hours with the promise of pizza and nine interrupted hours of football tomorrow…or the day after tomorrow, depending on where you’re reading this.

We Sail Tonight for Singapore

We sail tonight for Singapore
We’re all as mad as hatters here!

– Tom Waits, “Singapore”

Greetings from (ugh) hour 2/37 in transit between Toronto and Surabaya, Indonesia! Yes, that means the title’s misleading, but Tom Waits didn’t write a song called “Surabaya,” and besides I’ll be spending six hours in Singapore on…Thursday, I think? My concept of time and space is rapidly deteriorating.

The 37-hour itinerary:

  • Toronto to London
  • London to Singapore, followed by a six-hour layover
  • Singapore to Surabaya

I still love what I do. I haven’t been this excited for a recruitment trip in years. The fact it’s the final trip of 2018, and that the only flights I have left to take this year are back and forth between Toronto and Thunder Bay, is probably helping with the anticipation. Or it could be because I’ve rediscovered my love of recruitment this fall. In a way it’s been a challenging travel season. OCD’s been a constant guest during my trips. But that’s turned each of them into exposure opportunities, and I’ve come back to Toronto further along the road to recovery following each one.

So I’m excited. I’m even excited for the 37 hours in transit: I get to make a whistle stop in one of my favourite places, then spend 14 hours on board an A380. I’m seeing some great people in Surabaya and Jakarta and, yes, Singapore (I’ll end up back there on Monday). And this time next week I’ll be on my way home and ready to put a great, big bow on season #12.

In the meantime, you must say goodbye! to! me!

Caribbean Lapse

I’m at the tail end of a moderate OCD lapse. Firstly, thanks. Secondly, yeah, it does suck. Thirdly, though, it is what it is: since OCD’s chronic I’m susceptible to flare-ups even when things are going great.

And things are going great! Like, “completely symptom-free” great. Things were so good I was able to listen to and enjoy a Soundgarden album (King Animal) for the first time since Chris Cornell’s death. And that’s what makes this lapse tolerable: the knowledge that I was there as recently as last week and that I’ll be there again shortly.

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Trini Travelling Songs

I’ve literally lost track of how often I’ve flown through Houston’s GEORGE BUSH INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT, although I once bought a Borders membership specifically because I was using the airport’s location so often (it’s where I bought, among many other things, Born to Run, which is one of my favourite books, which I first read during a trip to Trinidad and which I’m currently re-reading). I haven’t been to Port of Spain since 2011. During that trip I listened to the new (at the time) Black Keys single a lot. In honour of that, I present the latest edition of Travelling Songs:

  • The Arkells, Michigan Left
  • The Arkells, Rally Cry (which is fantastic)
  • The Black Keys, El Camino
  • Cat Power, Wanderer
  • The Clash, Sandinista!
  • Gord Downie, Introduce Yerself (one of these days…)
  • Joe Ely, Honky Tonk Masquerade
  • George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
  • Hamilton, Original Broadway Cast Recording
  • Led Zeppelin, In Through the Out Door
  • Lord Huron, Vide Noir
  • Tom Morello, The Atlas Underground
  • Joe Strummer, Joe Strummer 001
  • The Temptations, 20th Century Masters
  • Frank Turner, Tape Deck Heart
  • The Who, Live at Leeds

I should, at some point, listen to “If You Ever Go to Houston” for old time’s sake.

Unrelated, but today’s flight was delayed by over an hour because one of the passengers spat on a flight attendant. I didn’t know that was a thing; I do know it’s the first time I’ve ever experienced an expectoration-related flight delay, however, and I hope never to experience another one.